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Toray Industries Develops A Revolutionary Film for Flexible Printed Circuits

January 06, 2020 by Luke James

Tokyo’s Toray Industries announced in December that it had created a polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film that maintains the polymer’s dielectric characteristics, flame retardancy, and chemical robustness while still being thermally resistant at 40°C.

Toray’s proprietary technology controls the crystal structure of the new PPS film while also improving thermal resistance. It has been designed for use in 5G circuit boards, maintains low dielectric losses of electrical energy, resists deformation, and is dimensionally stable close to its melting point. As a super engineering plastic, PPS also offers excellent electrical insulation and has a melting point of 280°C. 

The company expects that the high thermal dimensional stability and the cost-competitiveness of PPS, combined with its dielectric characteristics, will make it useful for use in 5G circuits, particularly those in smartphones. 


Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film

Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film. Image Credit: Toray. 


What is PPS?

Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) is a polymer that is made up of aromatic rings that are linked by sulfides with a melting point of 280°C. Both mechanically and chemically strong, the polymer is flame-resistant and has a high degree of dimensional stability. It is also an electrical insulator unless altered via oxidation or doping.

Although PPS is said to be able to maintain its thermal resistance at a point 40°C higher than its counterparts, it can deform when exposed to heat and does not perform well when soldered.


Toray’s New PPS Film

To address the above challenges, Toray has developed its own proprietary technology that controls the structure of PPS film. This means that its properties are maintained while thermal resistance is also increased. The new film is capable of resisting deformation and is dimensionally stable near to its melting point. 

In terms of 5G applications, the new PPS film cuts transmission losses of communication devices at high frequencies and stabilizes high-speed communications across temperature and humidity spectrums. 

Toray’s flexible printed circuits using their new proprietary technology OEMs the ability to more easily manufacture reliable mobile devices that can operate at higher frequencies. This is necessary to harness the true power of 5G. 

The company has already completed the technology for the new film on a pilot basis, and it looks as if mass production may be lined up for this year, right on time to popularize devices in the fast-growing arena of 5G, something that is attracting attention for being an advanced platform capable of delivering fast speeds, low latency, and multi-connectivity.

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